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A SLOW NEWS WEEK? [Or drop the dead donkey perhaps]


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Once upon a time there was a fourteen-year-old girl who lived in Leicestershire, she had a sixteen-year-old boyfriend whom she had accused of raping her. The allegation came as a shock to her mother who worked in the custody section of a police station and had seen the effects of such attacks at first hand. Her mother having knowledge of the procedures that must follow informed the police and an investigation began. A police doctor who was surprised to find that the fourteen year old was still a virgin examined the girl. The girl later admitted that the accusation was a fabrication though she gave no reason for the lie. Though it did cast doubt upon her claim that her own father had sexually abused her. At sixteen the girl married and left her mother’s home, the marriage was to last less than 2000 days and produced three children, one was given to adoption, one was to live with his father and the third a girl was raised by her Grandmother who was of the opinion that her daughter held little interest in anyone or anything, save herself. The son was later accused of a violent assault upon his mother but the offence could not be substantiated.

Time passed and the girl remarried, this time to a uniformed police officer that now lives in Yorkshire though that marriage was not to last faltering in a little more than five months. It was thought that the union had compatibility problems but an internal police enquiry uncovered thousands of pounds of debt and credit card abuse in the residue of the marriage, which is contrary to the standards expected of a police officer.

Several years on and numerous contact/complaint/investigations by police finds the one time 14 year old a grown woman living in Northamptonshire having undergone several changes of address and at least eight changes of name.  Though she had in the past been convicted of offences involving dishonesty she had on many occasions been connected to offences of a similar sexual nature or at least been on the periphery of a great many police investigations.
If this was a fictional story of a miscarriage of justice the reader might now be settling to read on in the comfort of an armchair but the next part of the story which happened on New Years Eve in 1999 leaves an uncomfortable feeling of certainty that it can and will happen again. The ensuing events saw a family man of previous good record locked away in prison for something he did not do, and to add to the injustice as he was about to be released the Court of appeal actually increased his sentence.

The chain of events began in the near the quiet Northamptonshire town of Daventry on New Years Day 1999. Warren Blackwell and his wife Tanya were to attend a party at a local social club, it was a fancy dress affair and they went dressed as “Punks”. There were two children, Liam aged 3 was at home in bed whilst Holly aged 9 went to the party with Tanya and Warren, all was right with the world. At the same party with her “New boyfriend” of just six weeks was the one time14 year old who was now a grown woman of some 30 years. Her boyfriend coincidentally was Tanya’s uncle.
The two couples played a game of pool and light-hearted social chitchat exchanged. At around 12:45 Tanya left to take Holly home to bed whilst warren stayed on. He left at a little after one o’clock but on the way home he met an acquaintance who in conversation told him that a woman had been attacked outside the social club, together they returned to the club to find that the woman he had been playing pool with earlier had been attacked. He recognised her immediately, she was on the ground, her face was heavily bruised, and she was only sporadically conscious. He took off his jacket and folded it for a pillow under her head. It is not known how the incident ended but Warren related what had happened to Tanya and 2 days later she and her sister went to see the “Victim” to offer their support. Her demeanour was to say the least a surprise, it was as if nothing had taken place and was more concerned with improvements to her new boyfriends house than the attack.
On January 3rd 1999 six police officers came to Warrens house to arrest him upon suspicion of rape and to search the house for anything that may have been used as a weapon during the alleged offence.

Tanya and Warren were taken to the police station where Tanya gave a lengthy statement of the events of that night whilst the police questioned Warren for several hours. The “Victim” claimed that her attacker had inserted what she took to be a metal implement inside her and then raped her and given a description of her attacker that fitted Warren perfectly. At the outset she claimed to have been raped but later modified her accusation to one of sexual assault. Forensically there was no evidence to connect Warren to the victim at all and no weapon was ever recovered. She had claimed to have felt cold steel on her thigh but she was in fact wearing trousers. Solely on the strength of the accusations made by the “Victim” Warren was charged with rape and bailed.
During the following two weeks the “Victim” remained in the locality and even revisited the social club on at least one occasion. On January 19th a formal identity parade took place where Warren [who was the son of a local policeman of 28 years service] was picked from the line up as the attacker by the victim.
Warren was then de-arrested for the rape charge and rearrested for sexual assault because there was no supporting forensic evidence of rape. The “Victim then moved from Daventry to Leicester.

The trial was in September 1999 and warren Blackwell stood convicted by a 10-2 majority verdict largely due to an impressive performance by the star witness for the prosecution, the victim. He was now a convicted criminal and his name was put upon the register of sex offenders.
The despair of a man convicted of a crime he did not do can only be imagined but Warren was as determined to prove his innocence as his wife Tanya and his father the former policeman.
Warrens sentence was nearing completion and it had been “hard time” of the worst kind but near to his release date in 2001 the Appellate court was sitting to decide if the sentence given at Warren’s trial was just. Unfortunately for Warren they concluded that his sentence was too lenient and increased his sentence to five years.
In that same court was the police officer that had arrested and charged Warren who was now in possession of further evidence that would most certainly have caused the court to reassess the evidence but it was never put before the court.
The nightmare continued until it was discovered that the “Victim/star witness” had been attacked again just 16 months after the incident involving Warren, alarm bells began to sound. The same “Victim” had claimed to have been assaulted by yet another man with similarities to the “Story” she had told of that night in January 1999.
This time she was examined by doctors who found scratches and the tracing of words carved into her torso, the words were “I hate you slag” but they were etched into her skin in reverse suggestion a self-infliction carried out with the use of a mirror.
The sentence in this miscarriage of justice came to an end in February 2003, Warren served three years and four months for a crime he did not commit but could it happen again? Well yes it could and it probably will.
The doubt cast upon the police investigation is compelling, it includes an infringements of the Police And Criminal Evidence Act, the with holding of evidence from the defence material to the credibility of the “Victim”, the missing notebook of the arresting officer and the previous psychiatric history of the victim who had played out similar scenarios under different names across three counties during the past ten years.  

However, there is a facet of English law that affords the protection of anonymity to the “Victims” of crimes, which have a sexual dimension, a blind codicil that was intended to encourage the victims of such crimes to report them. Yet in this particular case it is the law that protects the felonious perjury of a witness who knowingly arranged events so that an innocent man was sent to gaol. The anonymity applies equally to both proven cases and acquittals, which means that in this case the identity of someone who has perfected perjury to an art form will remain incognito. At least it might have but for the intervention of a member of the House of Lords who has exorcised the device of Parliamentary Privilege granted by the Bill of Rights of 1689 which permitted Lord Dale Campbell-Savours [Labour] to name the “Alleged” victim in this case branding her a serial liar who has a history of making false accusations and employing the subterfuge of multiple identities to avoid discovery. The name cannot be repeated outside Parliament yet but it is the same name used by used by a musician/singer-song writer who suffers from multiple sclerosis and can be found at:


But the point of law here is not that she should be facing justice for any matter arising from the charges/accusations pertinent to the bogus rape trial but for giving evidence in a courtroom knowing it to be a fabrication and whilst under an oath to tell the truth……….in this country that is called perjury and is punishable by a prison term between two and seven years at the discretion of a judge. Should such a charge ever be brought there would be no right to anonymity unless the trial judges so ordered it.
The question is “Would the Crown Prosecution service ever bring such a charge”? And if so “Would it be in the public interest”?
It is unlikely as it would mean admitting a trail of errors stretching from the courtroom all the way back through the police investigation and possibly undermining the bedrock of the rape laws. Is it in the public interest? Well yes it is, if the “Perjurer” is to be prevented from putting on another performance resulting in yet another innocent man being sent to gaol. Or will the system just continue to take the word of a serial liar against anyone accused of an offence where it has a sexual component?

The Conviction was finally quashed by the Court of Appeal in September 2006, eight years after the offence and five years after the completion of the "Extended" sentence, the "Victim" now lives in Worcestershire.


Posted: October 24, 2006 

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